Written by: Pedro Moura
From: São Paulo, Brazil
Edited by: Anna Kissajikian
PS: Not really an article :)
We, as victims of the contemporary world, are reluctant to accept the authentic version of ourselves, which is censored by what is considered to be “acceptable” by society. The raw truth has lost its meaning after being buried under the creation of an abundance of terms, which bridge the gap between preserving one’s feelings and sincerity. We are all blind when subjected to the truth, once it does not match the illusion of certainty, created by the mirage of being right. Limited, we are forced to embellish reality so that we can create a “lighter” version of the truth; a version which society can endure. But what is the “right” truth? Why do we all live in different worlds, even though we are on the same planet? Why does everything seem so big, even when they are so small?
“Simple” is not simple. “Right” is not right. “Me” is not myself. What is the point of creating such an extensive vocabulary, without being able to use it? Alienated by our distinct realities, we attempt to empathize with those of others, without the slightest knowledge of how they perceive the world. We all try to fit in, but fit into what? The status quo? Even though we are just supposed to be ourselves, we get lost within the uncountable different versions that society shapes us into, due to the presence of stereotypes and social norms. Every detail of our daily lives is key in shaping who we are. The weather, the colors, the objects; our surroundings are fundamental building blocks of our personality. We are oblivious of the fact that if anything had been different - if any single string had been manipulated differently - we would be completely different people.
The fact that our certainty might be so malleable leads us to reflect on why we underestimate the infinite intangible aspects of our reality. We may all be looking at the same image, but we will all be seeing different pictures; there are endless possibilities of how our realities might mold us into being who we are. Who we could be. Just like we do with our hair, we continuously comb our lives once it gets messy, to mimic the narrow understanding of how to achieve “success”. We abide by the implicit rules in society created by- created by whom? Many say life is not a game, but, isn’t it? Are we not all after a “prize”? Are we not all expected to follow the same rules? One may claim to know who they are - but what version of themselves do they really know?
Blind to the truth that we don’t want to believe in, we constantly train ourselves to hear what we want to hear. We lie to ourselves copiously to the point where we lose sight of what is real and what is not. It is common to hear people say that the truth is the best policy, even when not being truthful to themselves. We are overpowered by the feelings that prevent us from being who we really are. Society causes people to feel ashamed of the millions of pieces that make up their puzzles, forcing them to slowly replace piece by piece, until they don’t recognize the final picture.
The misconception that there is a “normal” related to one's true being causes people to feel lost within the doubt of either being themselves, or living in the shadows of the person they could be. Unconsciously, we believe that everything we can see is everything there is, neglecting to recall every abstract aspect of reality. Controlled by the fear of rejection, we tend to convince ourselves that we are someone we’re not, in order to minimize the pain of not fitting within unachievable standards. Due to a hierarchical mindset, a sense of inferiority is cast upon the people in their journey of finding out who they are. Hence, leading them to mimic those who act superior, and lose sight of who they are.
The bottom line is that there is no bottom line.